N26 Alternatives

N26 Alternatives

After examining N26 on a wide variety of metrics and features, we believe there are three N26 alternatives worth looking at.

In this post, we’ll introduce Revolut, TransferWise and SafetyWing as viable alternatives to N26.

Sign up for N26 today.

What Is N26?

Put simply, N26 is the best online bank for most people.

N26 offers a host of great features, including:

  • Free worldwide ATM withdrawals: Wherever you are in the world, N26 You and N26 Metal members can withdraw from any ATM at the inter-bank exchange rate with zero fees, as if you’re still at home.
  • Free international money transfers: Send an unlimited number of money transfers to friends, colleagues, suppliers, customers–all for free.
  • An extremely powerful app: Toggle online payments and spending limits, reset your PIN, pay with Apple Pay and Google Pay, receive real-time transaction notifications, and a lot more–all in the N26 app.

N26 You, N26’s premium account, and N26 Metal, its super-premium account, also come with an exceptional travel & medical insurance plan, which includes:

  • Medical expenses up to an unlimited amount.
  • Travel cancellation insurance up to €5,000 per trip.
  • Flight and luggage delay insurance up to €400.
  • Stolen cash insurance up to €500.
  • Stolen mobile phone insurance up to €300.

There’s a lot more to the N26 insurance policy than that–including why we recommend combining N26 with SafetyWing for the ultimate travel & medical insurance combination–but this gives you a good idea of what N26 is all about.

Now we’re going to look at three viable alternatives to N26. As you’ll see below, each of them compares to N26 differently—one online bank, one cross-border currency exchange service, and one travel and medical insurance provider—so we’ll need to look at them one by one.

N26 Alternative #1: Revolut

Compared on: Online banking

N26 vs Revolut

In terms of features, N26 and Revolut are very similar, though there are a few differences:

  • N26 offers overdraft; Revolut does not.
  • N26 offers free bank transfers up to an unlimited amount; Revolut charges 0.5% after the first £5,000/month.
  • Revolut supports cryptocurrencies; N26 does not.

One of the major differences between N26 and Revolut is in the way they approach foreign currency transactions and ATM withdrawals:

Weekday ATM Withdrawal RateInter-bank rateInter-bank rate
Weekend ATM Withdrawal RateInter-bank rateInter-bank rate + 0.5%-1%
Weekday foreign currency transactionsInter-bank rateInter-bank rate
Weekend foreign currency transactionsInter-bank rateInter-bank rate + 0.5%-1%
Foreign exchange in excess of £5,000/monthInter-bank rateInter-bank rate + 0.5%
Foreign exchange on less common currenciesInter-bank rateInter-bank rate + 1%-2%
Sign up for N26Sign up for Revolut

The simple way to read the table is like this: N26 always charges you the inter-bank rate (the best exchange rate) on your transactions and ATM withdrawals, while Revolut often adds fees on top of the inter-bank rate. Which bank would you rather work with?

The differences are just as vast when it comes to the travel and medical insurance policies included with N26 You and Revolut Premium:

Pay-per-day travel insuranceInsurance already includedPaid from £1/day
Flight/baggage delay insurance (after 4 hours)Up to €400Up to £320
Reimbursement for stolen cashUp to €500NO
Reimbursement for stolen mobile phoneIncluded up to €300Paid from £1/week
Extended warranty on purchasesUp to €500NO
Trip cancellation insuranceUp to €5,000NO
Car rental / public transportation accident insuranceYESNO
Sign up for N26Sign up for Revolut

Again, N26’s travel and medical insurance policy is significantly better than that of Revolut. Its limits are higher, it reimburses you for things like a stolen mobile phone or cash that’s stolen after you withdraw it from an ATM, and it has trip cancellation coverage of up to €5,000. Revolut offers none of the above.

We highly recommend N26 as the best online bank for most people. Click here to learn more about the differences between N26 and Revolut.

N26 Alternative #2: TransferWise

Compared on: Currency exchange

TransferWise - N26 Alternatives

TransferWise – N26 Alternatives

If the primary way you plan to use your N26 account is for exchanging currency and sending payments in multiple currencies, it makes the most sense to compare N26 to TransferWise. I wrote an in-depth review of TransferWise here.

TransferWise is the best way to send money internationally. In fact, N26 leverages TransferWise’s technology for some of their cross-border payments. It’s the cheapest, most transparent method for exchanging and transferring currencies anywhere in the world.

Difference 1: Multiple Currencies

The major difference between how N26 and TransferWise handles foreign currencies is that an N26 account is only capable of holding one currency: Euros. Every transaction you make is done at the inter-bank rate, though, which means that from a quantitative perspective, it’s as if you had paid in the local currency.

TransferWise, on the other hand, allows you to hold multiple currencies in a TransferWise Borderless account. You can currently hold more than 40 currencies, all the major currencies you’d expect plus several dozen more. This doesn’t have any bottom-line impact, but it is a slightly different way of approaching foreign currencies.

TransferWise Currencies - N26 Alternatives

TransferWise Currencies – N26 Alternatives

Difference 2: ATM Withdrawals

Your N26 You or N26 Metal account grants you free ATM withdrawals anywhere in the world. Similarly, a TransferWise Borderless account allows you to withdraw up to £200 per month for free.

Since N26 and TransferWise work in slightly different ways, I recommend using them together to get the best of both worlds. That means you have an N26 account for free ATM withdrawals worldwide, and whenever you need to send money across borders, you use TransferWise to do it.

N26 Alternative #3: SafetyWing

Compared on: Travel insurance

SafetyWing Review

A lot of people sign up for N26 because of the exceptional travel insurance coverage that comes with N26 You and N26 Metal. Alongside unlimited foreign medical coverage and trip cancellation insurance, N26 also covers flight delay and baggage delay, car rentals, and even offers an extended warranty on your purchases. You can read all the details of the N26 insurance policy in my full N26 review.

If travel and medical insurance what you’re interested in, then an excellent alternative to N26 is SafetyWing.

What Is SafetyWing?

SafetyWing is a $37 monthly travel & medical insurance plan with impressive emergency medical and dental coverage, $3,000 of lost luggage coverage and a $250,000 maximum limit.

It likely offers the best value of any travel and medical insurance plan on the planet.

SafetyWing is frequently compared with World Nomads, the popular travel and medical insurance provider for backpackers, freelancers and digital nomads. When you dig into the numbers, though, as we did in our breakdown review of SafetyWing and World Nomads, you come to see why SafetyWing is so, so much better.

There are a few key differences between the N26 and SafetyWing travel insurance policies:

  1. SafetyWing’s emergency medical coverage is capped at $250,000; N26’s is unlimited.
  2. SafetyWing offers $10,000 in personal liability coverage; N26 offers none.
  3. SafetyWing covers you for up to 30 days out of every 90 days in your home country (15 days out of 90 days if you’re American); N26 only covers you when you’re abroad.

Overall, though, the two complement each other extremely well, each filling the gaps in the other’s policy. That’s why I recommend using both SafetyWing and N26 together, a combination that gives you an exceptional level of coverage for a total of just $48/month ($37/month for SafetyWing, €9.90/month ($11/month) for N26 You).

Here’s what your coverage looks like when you combine N26 and SafetyWing together:

SafetyWing + N26
Monthly Cost$37 + $11 = $48 per month
Emergency MedicalUnlimited
Emergency Dental$1,000
Trip Cancellation€5,000 ($5,700) (10-20% deductible)
Trip Interruption$5,000
Lost Baggage$3,000 (maximum $500 per item)
Personal Liability Coverage$10,000
Home Country Coverage30 days out of every 90 days (15 days out of every 90 days for Americans)
Coverage AreaWorldwide (excludes North Korea and Iran for some benefits)

Are you starting to see why I’m so excited about this combination?

N26 You + SafetyWing offers the ultimate low-cost insurance combination for digital nomads and frequent travelers. For just $48/month, you receive world-class coverage that has your back in every plausible scenario.

Sign up for SafetyWing and N26 today.

In Summary

These are the three most compelling alternatives for N26 out there:

  1. Revolut: An online bank that offers some, but certainly not all, of N26’s features and functionality. We recommend N26 as the best online bank for most people.
  2. TransferWise: An exceptional tool for moving money across borders. We recommend using both TransferWise and N26 together for maximum effect.
  3. SafetyWing: A truly impressive travel and medical insurance provider that offers a better plan than World Nomads at ⅓ the price. We recommend using both SafetyWing and N26 You together for an extremely comprehensive insurance plan that costs just $48/month.

6 thoughts on “N26 Alternatives”

    • Hi Daniel, as the post says, the free ATM withdrawals are available for all N26 You and N26 Metal users, not for those with the free account (free users are charged 1.7% on foreign ATM withdrawals.)

    • Thanks for pointing this out, Alexander, this must’ve changed since we last updated the post. We’ve changed the information now to ensure everything is up-to-date.

  • Got a message in my N26 app that they’re closing their UK operations (Brexit)

    I know Monzo, Starling and others operate in this space. Have you done a comparison on these? For me, Apple Pay and monthly analysis of spending are super important; overseas/travel spending/withdrawals are a nice extra too!

    • Hey AK, we haven’t done a direct comparison between Monzo, Starling and N26 yet – but hopefully soon! Stay tuned 🙂

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